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Insights from DX3 Canada 2020

By Aleks Hara, Director, Cloud Service Sales
March 16, 2020

On March 10, 2020, WatServ was pleased to attend DX3 2020, Canada’s largest retail, marketing and technology conference. Although day two of the conference was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions, our team came away from the event with several insights.

In particular, DX3 painted a picture of the retail industry’s new landscape. Gone are the days when retailers simply had to open up shop and customers would come. Nowadays, customers expect retailers to come to them via personalized advertising and shopping experiences, unique and differentiated touchpoints and customer engagement in the places they’re already frequenting. Every retailer needs to be a technology company in order to survive and thrive in this fast, on-demand marketplace. Failing to connect meaningfully with customers usually ends poorly, as we saw with Forever 21.

So, how can a retailer create personalized experiences? How can they understand and connect with their customers authentically? The answer is data. Lots of data. And, lots of meaningful insights derived from the data.

Many of the exhibitors and sponsors at DX3 2020 were technology SaaS providers that offer solutions to ingest, digest and make sense of retailer data using things like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), proprietary algorithms and other software-based innovations. They provide big companies, like Canadian Tire, with tools to make better business decisions, specifically by leveraging data and transforming it into meaningful insights. These insights can be used to drive new ideas for products and services, as well as spark ideas for unique ways of connecting with audiences.

However, for data analysis to work, a retailer must first collect and provide accurate and relevant data. Before it’s ever analyzed and put into algorithms, it’s got to be the right data. The trouble is many retailers aren’t using the latest ERP or CRM tools and either simply don’t capture enough data or don’t capture relevant data points. 

To combat this, many of the technology vendors we spoke with at DX3 discussed the idea that, when leveraging new technology, companies should take a “crawl, walk, run” approach:

  • Crawl– Implement foundational IT systems that capture, store and segment relevant data.
  • Walk– Add AI, ML and other software to make sense of the data and provide strategy going forward.
  • Run– Rely almost exclusively on software results to make quick and agile decisions.

How can WatServ help? At WatServ, we play an integral role in the early (“crawl”) stages of transforming and updating database capabilities. By offering cloud technology services – such as putting SQL and Dynamics in Azure – we empower retailers to embrace the latest technology tools, which they can then leverage to process and refine their data. The lessons we learned at DX3 reminded us that a strong foundation, like the ones we provide to our clients, is critical to data-driven business success.

Thank you to everyone we met at DX3.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

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